Clocked

A new entry into the November console war… Atari?

Atari has presented a third option in November’s second most heated two-party system: the console wars.

With the releases of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X/S on the horizon, an unexpected challenger has emerged from the shadows with a steel chair: Atari. The historical video game company will be coming out with its own entry to the November console wars with the Atari VCS, now updated with modern specs.

Visually the Atari VCS harkens back to its 1977 parent, even including a joystick alongside a more conventional controller. The console was announced back in 2017, with pre-orders being processed through crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

Atari VCS November Release
Image: Atari Interactive

The 2020 version of the Atari VCS comes with a host of modern specs including an AMD Ryzen CPU and GPU, 8GB of RAM (which can be expanded), four USB 3.0 ports, and a Linux operating system. The unit has been described as a console/PC hybrid capable of utilising a secondary operating system via the VCS’ dedicated PC mode.

It is expected to run modern AAA games at 4K, with Borderlands 2 and Fortnite having been demoed on the system.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the VCS’ initial release period of March 2020 was delayed to 27 November. While it may seem like a bold strategy to release within the same period as the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, it’s clear that Atari view themselves as David to the Goliaths of Sony and Microsoft.

Time will tell whether or not Atari’s return to the hardware scene will pay off, but keep your eyes on this space for a uniquely marketed system competing against considerably bigger (literally and figuratively) consoles.

The Atari VCS is currently available for pre-order directly from Atari for US$389.99, which is cheaper than the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but more expensive than the Xbox Series S.